RESERVOIR & STREAM
LEVELS DECLINE; WATER CONSERVATION URGED
State Environmental Protection Commissioner
Bob Shinn today issued a "drought watch" for all
of New Jersey due to declining water levels in reservoirs
monitored by the Delaware River Basin Commission, and declining
stream flows. The declaration calls upon residents to voluntarily
"It is always prudent to use water
wisely, but as rainfall continues to be scarce, there is
a greater necessity to conserve," said Shinn.
Storage in the New York City Delaware River
Basin has dropped from 52.1 percent of capacity in early
October to 39.3 percent as of last Friday. At this time
last year, the storage capacity was 85.5 percent.
Groundwater levels in New Jersey also have
been declining and many streams are approaching, or are
at, record low stream flow levels.
"The drought watch does not mean mandatory
restrictions are imminent, but we are at a stage where voluntary
conservation is very important," said Shinn.
A drought watch is the first of three
possible drought stages. If capacity levels drop significantly,
a drought warning would be declared, and if levels worsen,
a drought emergency would follow. Only the latter would
require mandatory water use restrictions.
The 13 major reservoirs serving northeastern
New Jersey are about 10 percent below normal.
For information on ways to reduce
water bills and increase water conservation, visit www.njdrought.org.
The website also links to the U.S. Geological Survey's New
Jersey district web page for stream flow and ground water